SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – This week, the United States’ first national women’s football team will begin their quest for gold in Tokyo.
The Americans are big favorites and six players on the list have Bay Area ties.
“I’m so grateful to the women who have led the way for me and I think it’s so important to carry this torch,” said center-back Abby Dahlkemper.
Dahlkemper, who anchors the US defense, moved to Menlo Park in 5e to note. She graduated from the Preparatory of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
“It was so good for me in the sense of the talent of women playing football, it pushed me to improve myself and allowed me to be part of a really elite club team,” said Dahlkemper.
She won a national championship at UCLA in 2013 before joining the NWSL.
Then, in October 2016, came the call that every gamer dreams of.
“It’s super humiliating, being able to represent my country at the highest level means everything to me,” said Dahlkemper.
Dahlkemper cemented her place as the team’s starting center-back before entering the world’s biggest soccer tournament.
She has played in every World Cup game for the United States on her way to becoming a World Cup champion.
“It was just euphoric, like oh my god. It was a childhood dream come true. How many people can actually say that, ”Dahlkemper said.
Now a new honor, Dahlkemper says she doesn’t take it for granted. She was named to the list of 18 players who will compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics delayed from this week.
“It almost doesn’t seem real, but I’m obviously very excited and I’m sure when we get to Japan everything is going to flow, it’s totally time to go very soon,” said Dahlkemper.
Dahlkemper says she is honored to continue to carry the torch and that this group will settle for nothing less than gold.
“We’re going to be looking to get the job done, to play one game at a time, to control the controllable, and everything else is just noise,” Dahlkemper said.
The Americans face Sweden in their opener Wednesday at 1:30 am PT.